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Dahlonega, Georgia
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McDonough, Georgia
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Milledgeville, Georgia
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Tybee Island, Georgia
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Stone Mountain, Georgia

Atlanta

Southern capital full of history, culture and attractions for the whole family

Considered the crossroads of the South, Atlanta blends homey charm with all the excitement of a big, cosmopolitan city. Georgia’s capital and its largest city attracts travelers from around the world and has surged in popularity since 1996 when it hosted the Olympic Games. The city abounds with museums and historic sites, and played a major role in the Civil War and the civil rights movement. It’s also the home base of a few of America’s most iconic brands, including CNN and Coca-Cola. The city’s prominence has led many to name it the Capital of the South.

Historic Highlights

Atlanta bore the brunt of Civil War destruction and gave birth to a civil rights icon. It also rose to become a thriving hub of industry and innovation.

A must-see for history lovers, the Atlanta History Center is a 33-acre complex comprising museums, historic structures and a park. The center’s Atlanta History Museum displays fascinating exhibits on Civil War and African-American history, along with folk art. Check out the special exhibits devoted to the 1996 Olympics.

If you plan to visit during the fall of 2018, visit the Atlantic Cyclorama, which is currently under construction and will offer a 360-degree view of the events that shaped the region’s history. The panoramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta weighs 6 tons and has been moved from the Grant Center.

About 8 miles to the south, visitors can learn about the life of a civil rights icon at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. The property showcases the boyhood home of MLK and The King Center, established in 1968 by his widow in honor of his pivotal role in the civil rights struggle. Features include a library with archives full of material dedicated to his work, exhibits about the civil rights and peace movements and a reflecting pool with an eternal flame in honor of the continual fight for peace and equality.

Two miles to the west lies Centennial Olympic Park, a sprawling green space built as a gathering place for visitors to the Olympic games. The park hosts concerts throughout the year, and during warm days, it’s a haven for strollers and sunbathers. Check out the Fountain of Rings, which commemorates the games, along with the Googie Burger restaurant, a local favorite.

Family-Friendly Fun

Visitors of any age with an interest in the arts and storytelling won’t want to miss the Center for Puppetry Arts, a museum and performing arts venue dedicated to this centuries-old craft. Features include puppets from around the world, including creations by Jim Henson, the innovator behind “Sesame Street” and “The Muppets.”

There are also plenty of special events throughout the year, from performances to puppet-making workshops. Located adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is another must-see, with all sorts of educational learning zones and the occasional live performance.

Aspiring journalists of all ages will be in good company at the CNN Studio, where visitors can partake in 50-minute guided tours of the complex. Guests start their tour with a ride on the largest freestanding escalator on earth, which ascends eight stories and leads to the studio. Learn about teleprompters, weather maps and other TV technology.

Georgia Department of Economic Development

Most family visitors to Atlanta make a point of paying a visit to the Georgia Aquarium, one of the world’s largest artificial aquatic habitats. Swimming, floating and sitting in more than 10 million gallons of water are a staggering 500 species of sea life from multiple biomes. Aquarium patrons can interact with penguins, otters and dolphins. There are theatrical performances, and — of course — a huge variety of fish and other marine wildlife on view, including beluga whales.

Have a Coke

Georgia is the birthplace of America’s most iconic beverage — Coca-Cola — and even those who abstain from soft drinks might want to make an exception for the World of Coca-Cola. This museum dedicated to Coke is full of artifacts, from vintage advertisements to old bottles and dispensers, not to mention a 4-D theater, complete with special effects and moving seats.

Attractions here also includes a mock bottling plant, a huge gift shop and even a costumed mascot of Coca-Cola’s famous polar bear. Visitors will also get the opportunity to sample Coca-Cola from around the world, as slight variations in carbonation and sweeteners give the beverage a different taste depending on where it’s being sold.

For More Information

Atlanta CVB

800-285-2682

www.atlanta.net

Georgia Department of Economic

Development

800-847-4842

www.exploregeorgia.org